new McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern (issue 20) book of joy

When I got home from work on Friday, a wonderful parcel was waiting for me from Amazon. It was issue 20 of McSweeney Quarterly Concern.

It’s a beautiful, 199 page, hardcover book. About every 4th page is a picture of a painting. The rest is filled with short stories (I’ve only read one so far). Stuck in the back was a booklet with an extract from a novel (that’s coming out soon from McSweeney’s). It is soooooooo beautiful. I love beautiful books. I now own two McSweeney’s (the other one is issue 13, the comics issue, also hardcover and beautiful). I’d like to get Issue 17 which looks like a pack of (junk) mail and is filled with lots of stuff. I also want Issue 16 which I first saw in Australia at the beginning of this year and I thought it was really beautiful and innovative – it comes in a kind of fold-up folder with a booklet (or 2?), a (hair) comb, some large tarot-like cards with stories written on the back.

Actually here’s the description from a reviewer of Issue 16 from the above link:
“Fabulous short short stories presented in a most unique and beautiful way. This fabric covered book (although book really does not begin to describe this work of art)unfolds like a Gentleman’s travelling case – complete with comb! A magical publication and the perfect gift for an artistic soul. Take it on a train journey with you and drift away with the tall tales and then smarten up as you reach your destination.”

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